00:01Okay, my name is Ann Stark and I would like to suggest that in order that you make a better map...
00:07...you stop thinking like a cartographer.
00:10We all started at the beginning of our mapmaking careers possibly making maps like this...
00:15...which might be accurate but are not the best-looking map that we've ever seen.
00:22But I know that in our hearts, we all strive to grow to this point where we make maps that are a joy to look at and study.
00:33And while this last map is complicated and complex, it's still clear, relevant, and interesting.
00:43So how do you progress from the beginning to making maps that are beautiful to look at?
00:49I'd like to suggest that you need to stop thinking solely like a cartographer and start thinking more like a designer.
00:56The graphic design realm has four principles that they can share with us, and if you start to look for them...
01:04...if you learn them, you'll start to see them, and they are what can make great maps...
01:08...great posters, great eye-catching advertising.
01:13So, let's take a chance and learn them.
01:17So they are contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity; and there is a handy acronym for you to remember them...
01:27...and you can think of it as what you're trying to avoid when you're making maps.
01:31And I'm going to go through each of them quickly, but I would encourage you to take a look at design blogs on the Internet.
01:37There's a lot of examples out there.
01:41So the first is contrast, and basically, it means that they're going to do something different...
01:46...make sure it's really different, not just kind of different.
01:48It can be the very most important visual attraction to your map, so don't make wishy-washy maps.
01:54Don't make maps where all the fonts are the same, where all the colors are the same palette.
01:58Make something important on your map stand out.
02:02So this is an example of a bowhead migration route, and is there any doubt to you where the bowhead whales...
02:07...are migrating on this map?
02:10No. It's that big yellow line.
02:12It's the only shadowed line; it's a bright contrasting color from the background map...
02:16...and while it still looks good, it stands out.
02:19And it's the thing that it catches your eye.
02:23The second principle is repetition, and this can be a variety of visual elements.
02:29I would like to suggest that it can also be the map itself.
02:32So this is particularly important; if you have time-related information and you want to show something...
02:38...happening over a series of time, consider repeating the map itself and highlighting the thing that's changing.
02:44Your eye looks for the pattern, finds the pattern, and then you understand the message.
02:49The next is alignment.
02:50Nothing should be placed on the page arbitrarily, and here's a tip - don't accept the defaults.
02:56You want to unify, you want to organize, and you want to align information.
03:00And wishy-washy maps align on the center, so go for the edge and be bold.
03:06Proximity is the idea that groups of small things can make a bigger message or create a larger visual unit...
03:12...and they help your mind understand what's related because they're next to each other.
03:18The one thing that you can do to make a better map right now, when you go back to your desk...
03:22...is be bold and break the neatline.
03:25Though we've been kind of taught, growing up, that everything should go in a box - put a box around your map...
03:29...put a box around your legend - it's time to break out of the box.
03:34So if you take a look at this national park map, you'll see that just the edge breaks over into the black...
03:39...but you can tell right away that it's a modern map.
03:41It looks interesting; there's that contrast that caught your eye.
03:45And if you take a look at this flyer, it looks like the map's about to spill out onto your lap.
03:49So that's interesting to you; it makes you want to find out more.
03:54So, remember to stop thinking like a cartographer; start thinking like a designer.
04:00My name is Ann Stark and I'm on the Internet in various places and I look forward to having...
04:04...a discussion with you about great design.
Stop Thinking Like a Cartographer
Ann Stark shares four design principles to make your maps stand out.
- Recorded: Jul 23rd, 2012
- Runtime: 04:14
- Views: 813
- Published: Dec 18th, 2012
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